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Sadwings – Lonely Hero

Lonely Hero
by Rachel Montgomery at 28 November 2019, 12:18 AM

SADWINGS was a Swedish Power Metal band from the 1980s, and their first and only album from 1985, “Lonely Hero,” was reissued on Cult Metal Classics on Oct. 31, 2019.

Love in the Third Degree” distinguishes itself from traditional Power Metal songs with some whistling ambiance over typical, low, fast, thrashing riffs. Like many songs from this era, the production is muddy with down-tuned instrumentation. To make matters worse, the vocals echo and are very far back on the track. This song takes the vocals so far back I can barely hear them; no lyrics, no hooks, nothing. The instrumentation is good, but I wish I could hear the vocals better.

Lonely Hero” starts off with some beautiful, acoustic strumming, and the musical technique here is lovely. The vocal production is also much better; it echoes less and is more forward in the song. I enjoyed the vocal backing in the song, and the guitar solo was well-instrumented and composed against the main melody.

Too Young” has grainy instrumentals similar to typical songs from this era. I enjoyed the galloping melody and the longer guitar solo; I also appreciated the longer notes in the melody against clipped, fast notes in the guitar. However, the vocals are back to echoing, especially in the chorus. It’s not as bad as the first song, but still noticeable and distracting from the overall tone.

Escape into Fantasy” brings on some distinguishable snares before getting right into the meat of the song. While it’s a solid song, it sounds like every other Power Metal song from the time: echoing voice, fast guitars and major reverb in the guitar solo. It’s a solid song, but there’s nothing that stands out.

Sadwing” is another solid song, but the echo is so strong it sounds like the song is drowning in reverb. However, the tempo brings variety to the album: it’s a slow, marching beat whereas the last song was faster. The guitar solo melody is also original and a good compliment to the main melody.

Evil Island” is a slow ballad that sounds more like early 1970s Psychedelic Rock than 1980s Metal. The flute elements in the beginning give the song an early BLACK SABBATH or JETHRO TULL feel. Since it’s the most unique song on this album, it happens to be my favorite here. Thematically, it doesn’t evoke an evil island; it sounds more like a love ballad until it picks up a little in the middle with the guitar solo, which was a pleasant, heavy surprise.

Everybody Up” is supposed to be a fist-pumping anthem akin to a JUDAS PRIEST track. I can see myself getting excited to this song at a live show. However, on the album, it lacks bite. That’s due to production: it seems like the harder notes are muted and again, the singer is so far back that it takes the edge away from the song.

Winternights” begins with a beautiful opener that, like “Evil Island,” has an early Metal vibe, at least for the first minute. When the song becomes more intense, the instrumentation is uplifting. The vocals are the most operatic on the album, but they are still back in the mix. It functions as a solid ballad to end the album.

Overall, they sound like a typical American-style Power Metal band with some good Progressive elements here and there. However, even though the production is older, the vocals are unredeemable since they are so far back in the mixing of most the tracks.

Songwriting: 7
Production: 3
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Love in the Third Degree
2. Lonely Hero
3. Too Young
4. Escape into Fantasy
5. Sadwing
6. Evil Island
7. Everybody Up
8. Winternights
Tony Ekfeldt – Vocals
Peter Espinoza – Guitars
Patrick Berg – Guitars
Tommy Persson – Bass
Magnus Hörberg – Drums
Record Label: Cult Metal Classics


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